On May 11, 2022, FCC Chairwoman Rosenworcel announced a proposal to allow Wi-Fi on school buses be eligible for E-rate funding as part of closing the Homework Gap. The proposal was announced during a meeting of the National Coalition for Technology in Education & Training. The FCC noted that, if proposed declaratory Ruling is adopted, it would allow E-rate program funding to equip school buses with Wi-Fi, providing substantial benefits to students, including millions of students caught in the Homework Gap. The draft Declaratory Ruling directs the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau to include funding Wi-Fi on buses in establishing E-rate eligible services for the upcoming funding year.
In the news release, Chairwoman Rosenworcel stated that, “…While we’ve made progress getting many more families connected through our various broadband funding programs, the Homework Gap is still a hard fact of life for millions of schoolchildren in urban and rural America. Wiring our school buses is a practical step we can take that is consistent with the history of the E-rate program. This commonsense change could help kids who have no broadband at home. I look forward to having my colleagues join me in approving this step to support the online educational needs of our nation’s schoolchildren…”
The FCC news release can be viewed here